Meaning Of Mind / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$28.95
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$20.84
(Save 28%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 93%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (17) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $19.95   
  • Used (11) from $1.99   

Overview

In this brilliantly original and highly accessible work, Thomas Szasz demonstrates the futility of analyzing the mind as a collection of brain functions. Instead of trying to unravel the riddle of a mythical entity called the mind, Szasz suggests that our task should be to understand and judge persons always as moral agents responsible for their own actions, not as victims of brain chemistry. This is Szasz's most ambitious work to date. In his best-selling book, The Myth of Mental Illness, he took psychiatry to task for misconstruing human conflict and coping as mental illness. In Our Right to Drugs, he exposed the irrationality and political opportunism that fuels the Drug War. In The Meaning of Mind, he warns that we misconstrue the dialogue within as a problem of consciousness and neuroscience, and do so at our own peril.

In The Meaning of Mind, Thomas Szasz argues that only as a verb does the word mind mean something in the real world, namely, attending or heeding. Minding is the ability to pay attention and adapt to one's environment by using language to communicate with others and oneself. Viewing the mind as a potentially infinite variety of self-conversations is the key that unlocks many of the mysteries we associate with this concept. Modern neuroscience is a misdirected effort to explain mind in terms of brain functions. The claims and conclusions of the diverse academics and scientists who engage in this enterprise undermine the concepts of moral agency and personal responsibility. Szasz shows that the cognitive function of speech is to enable us to talk not only to others but to ourselves (in short, to be our own interlocutor), and that the view that mind is brain—embraced by both the scientific community and the popular press—is not an empirical finding but a rhetorical ruse concealing humanity's unceasing struggle to control persons by controlling the vocabulary. The discourse of brain-mind, unlike the discourse of man as moral agent, protects people from the dilemmas intrinsic to holding themselves responsible for their own actions and holding others responsible for theirs. Because we live in an age blessed by the fruits of materialist science, reductionist explanations of the relationship between brain and mind are more popular today than ever, making this book an indispensible addition to the seemingly recondite debate about, simply, who we are.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A controversial thesis arguing that the mind cannot simply be reduced to neuroscientific brain functioning but also involves an intimate self-conversation which creates individual morality. Szasz (psychiatry, State U. of New York Health Science Center) proposes that the function of speech enables us to communicate with others and ourselves and is the center of the human moral struggle. By shifting the focus to mere brain function, he argues, the scientific community absolves the individual of personal responsibility and ultimately seeks to control one's moral agency. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Booknews
Szasz (psychiatry, State U. of New York-Syracuse) sets out and defends the thesis that minding is the ability to pay attention and adapt to one's environment specifically by using language in its myriad forms to communicate with others and oneself. He adds a new preface citing recent examples and studies. The 1996 edition was published by Praeger. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275956035
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/25/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 198
  • Lexile: 1410L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

THOMAS SZASZ, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York, is the author of 23 books, among them the classic, The Myth of Mental Illness (1961), and Our Right To Drugs (Praeger, 1991).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Thought: Self-conversation 1
2 Responsibility: Self-blame and Self-praise 23
3 Memory: Fabricating the Past and the Future 47
4 Brain: The Abuse of Neuroscience 75
5 Mind: The History of an Idea 101
6 Modernity's Master Metaphors: Mental Illness and Mental Treatment 115
Epilogue: The Person as Moral Agent 139
Notes 145
Bibliography 165
Index 179
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)